Always in December, I rediscover the whimsy of colored lights blooming on the tiny pines in our backyard, the majesty of the staid white lights adorning the spotlighted bushes in front. This year, I dragged my husband not once, but twice through a neighborhood of McMansions a few miles away, whose owners compete, embellishing their yards with glittering swarms of lights— blinking bangles of bracelets and necklaces, entire collections wrapped around every branch of every tree. It's the season of decoration. I love the white crocheted angels we tucked away for safety seven years ago when the kitty arrived and rediscovered this year—and the antique music box unpacked from its nest of tissue and placed at the center of the table.
The Christmas season delivers such a sense of wonder that a pit of loss expands in my gut when I think of packing up the nutcrackers gracing our mantel, of pulling the bows off the drooping Christmas tree before tossing it out the back door, of driving up to a house lit by a single lamp post.
But yesterday provided a reminder...
Though a high pressure system painted the sky blue, the wind howled through the trees, brooming the bare lawn with a litter of pine branches. When you live by the shore, wind brings a show. So yanking on hats and scarves and pulling out two cameras, my husband and I drove down to the harbor and tiptoed up a private drive to the porch of a stone and brick boathouse.
There we watched seagulls chase a late afternoon lobster boat to his mooring, while waiting for a setting sun to reflect pink on the clouds in the eastern sky. Sheltered from the chillling gusts, we hoped to capture an extraordinary moment on an ordinary winter day.
In the end though, an off-shore breeze limited the ocean’s drama, and the wind drove the clouds away. Disappointed, we turned back toward the car and discovered a subtle show taking place behind us—the backlit legs of the boarded-up yacht club, peeling aqua paint flaking from an abandoned wooden dinghy.
Clicking away, we recalled the blessings these quiet adornments offer year round—a silent beauty always available—one that never has the need to compete.
Wishing you all a New Year filled with beauty.